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Editorial: Changes at Montclair

November 20, 2015

Playground ball photo by Derek Bruff via Flickr

By Kelsey D. with input from Anokhi M.

Every year at Montclair Elementary School, new rules and changes arrive. We would like to talk about four changes at school this year and how students feel about them.

The first new rule is that no balls can be out on the playground before the second bell rings for school to start. We have this rule for safety. Fourth grader Nola L. said she doesn’t like seeing balls flying around at every recess and before school starts, so she likes the new rule. Parent Leslie D. agrees she feels much safer and this was a good change for the school.

The second rule changes snack recess into first recess. We have this change because with breakfast at home, breakfast at school, snack, and lunch, it was all too much. Fifth grader Marina K. dislikes this change. “Sometimes kids get to school late and didn’t have breakfast. If they get to school so late they miss school breakfast, they don’t get enough food. Also, it doesn’t make a difference. It’s common to see kids eat snack.”

The third change is that we have two bells at the start of school now. The first bell tells students to get in line and alerts them that school is starting shortly, and the second bell starts school. Administrators made this change so it won’t take so long to get lined up to go to the classrooms. This change helps students prepare to begin the school day. However, Nola L. said that, for students who get to school late, the change doesn’t make much of a difference.

The last change is that instead of freezing after the whistle blows at recess, we kneel. This change was made because staff said freezing wasn’t enough to stop the excitement and it was hard for students to stay still. This change is controversial. Marina K. said she likes the change and thinks it is more effective than freezing. Nola L. disagrees. “It just takes an extra minute longer,” she said. For the most part, it seems to be a positive change because students stop what they’re doing and line up to go back to class more quickly.

Even though not everyone agrees that all the changes are good ones, it seems the goals of the new rules and changes are to make a better school and a better life for our students.

Photo: Derek Bruff via Flickr / Creative Commons

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